Preschool 3 to 5 Years
By the time your child is ready for preschool, he or she will have a mouth full of primary teeth and hopefully will be used to regular checkups at the dental office. At this age, your child can begin to brush his or her own teeth. You will still need to help from time to time to make sure they are brushed properly. Get in the routine of brushing twice a day, in the morning and at night.
Use a small, soft toothbrush with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. You may need to show your child how to brush the teeth or encourage observation of an older sibling. Some parents find it helpful to allow their little ones to brush in the morning, while the evening toothbrushing is done by an adult. Remind your child not to swallow the toothpaste.
Flossing should be taught as soon as the teeth begin to touch. You can ask your dentist for help with choosing a flossing tool to make it easier for your child to floss his or her teeth.
Good oral hygiene practices are important at this stage. Eating healthy and nutritious foods will also help your child’s teeth grow strong and stay healthy. Whole grains, vegetables and fruits are recommended. Avoid highly processed foods and those with a high sugar content.
Dental Care for Preschoolers
Regular checkups will help to avoid serious dental problems. A thorough examination should reveal any tiny problems that could develop into larger problems with time. The hygienist will clean your child’s teeth to remove plaque and tartar buildup. The dentist may recommend a fluoride treatment to help protect the teeth from decay.
During this stage of development, your child is becoming more verbal and independent. It is a good time to begin teaching good dental health habits. At this age, children like to do things on their own, and they love asking questions. Be patient with your child as he or she learns how to brush independently. It can get messy, so keep in mind that this is part of building that foundation for a lifelong commitment to oral health.
The Pediatric Dental Team is here to help you keep your child’s smile bright and healthy. Contact us with questions concerning your child’s oral health or to set up an appointment.